June 20, 2024

Carlos Alcaraz admitted it was “difficult” to handle some of his emotions during a nailbiting victory over Jan-Lennard Struff in the fourth round of the Madrid Open.

In one of the matches of the tournament so far, the world No 3 ultimately edged out his German opponent in a rematch of last year’s final, prevailing 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(4) on Court Manolo Santana.

However, it could have been a much more straightforward contest for Alcaraz, who spurned multiple chances to close out the match earlier in the contest.
He had an early break lead in the second set and held a minibreak lead in the second set tiebreak, but was unable to halt the advance of Struff, who forced a decider.

Carlos Alcaraz was later 5-3, 40-0 up in the third set and held four match points, before Struff broke back, and the Spaniard was forced to save a break point at 5-5 in the decider.
He also lost an initial 3-0 lead in the final set tiebreak but ultimately regained his composure to triumph.

Last year’s final between the two was also three sets, though it was notable on Tuesday that Alcaraz was incredibly animated after winning big points, but subdued when the tide was against him.

And he revealed that he struggled at times to handle his emotions.
He said: “Honestly this match reminds me of last year’s match.

“It was really difficult from the first point til the last one. It was a great fight and it was difficult for me to deal with my emotions, to handle certain difficult moments in the match.
“Serving for the match it was really tough for me after being 40-0 up. I’m really happy at the end it didn’t affect me and my game and my mentality. I kept fighting.

“That’s all that matters.”

Alcaraz has now won 14 matches in a row in Madrid and faces Andrey Rublev in the last eight later this week.

He is looking to become the first man in the tournament’s history to win three titles in a row and has received huge support from his home crowd throughout his campaign so far.
And the world No 3 conceded that crowd support helped him hugely against Struff.

Alcaraz added: “I have to say thanks to the people who supported me til the last point. I think they pushed me to not give up and keep fighting.

“I’m going to say this win is thanks to them as well. It’s incredible to have this crowd behind me.”

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